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  1. #1
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    Default Bearfence Mountain Shelter

    Last there in November 2003. It's a couple hundred feet off the trail down a path that's pretty washed out. Very wet around the shelter due to seeping water. Good sized shelter and about six tent sites. At least one of the tent sites wasn't usable due to trees fallen from Hurricane Isabel. Good flowing spring that would probably have water during all but the driest summers.

  2. #2
    Future AT Bag Lady Mini-Mosey's Avatar
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    Default Bearfence Mountain Hut..

    I was there in November, 2002; I shared it with a then-southbounder called "Gizmo". A previous southbounder had killed about 9 mice in the shelter and laid them out side by side on a log next to the fire grate.
    mini-m.

  3. #3

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    I stopped by today - looks like PATC (I think) put in a new privy - nothing special but the can is not plastic instead of the old tin one - a little easier to take in the cold.

  4. #4
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    Stayed here one night over the Veteran's Day weekend (2005). Shelter was in good shape and the general area clean. New privy is a nice change. The spring was flowing steadily, not hard but steady. It's been a very dry year in SNP so if the spring is running now I'd hazard a guess that it will be doing well most years.
    kncats

  5. #5
    AT 4000+, LT, FHT, ALT Blissful's Avatar
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    Default

    True.
    However, the Black Rock shelter spring is another question. It was only dripping for us in late April.







    Hiking Blog
    AT NOBO and SOBO, LT, FHT, ALT
    Shenandoah NP Ridgerunner, Author, Speaker


  6. #6
    Section hikers, 900+ miles, donating members anneandbenhike's Avatar
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    Default Bearfence

    My husband and I hiked the Shenandoahs in October and the privy at Bearfence was a victim of an 8" rainfall during Tropical storm Tammy. When we stayed there on Oct. 8th, the privy had floated out of the ground and was sitting at a 45 degree angle to the ground! It had a large "septic" tank on the side which had floated out and had pushed the toilet side of the building down and the tank up into the air. It was obviously a very new privy on a platform with rocks all around it which had been displaced. It was rather humorous (and definitely unusable) so my husband left a sign on it for the next hikers saying, "dammit, Jethro, I TOLD you not to eat so many beans." Don't know if it has been reset yet! Anyone know?

  7. #7
    •Completed A.T. Section Hike GA to ME 1996 thru 2003 •Donating Member Skyline's Avatar
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    I was at a PATC/SNP meeting Saturday, and this event was discussed. The privy has been righted. But first, a French Drain was put in so rainwater that might collect down below would have a way to escape instead of causing the tank to rise and the privy to lean, and the floating tank has been weighted down. They hope it won't happen again.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kncats
    Stayed here one night over the Veteran's Day weekend (2005). Shelter was in good shape and the general area clean. New privy is a nice change. The spring was flowing steadily, not hard but steady. It's been a very dry year in SNP so if the spring is running now I'd hazard a guess that it will be doing well most years.
    Spent night of Feb. 22 with no problems. Privy was in good shape (even had TP furnished), spring water was available and plentiful. Heard one mouse overnight but our food and other mouse-desirable belongings were secure. Despite the eastern exposure, the heavy morning fog prevented us from seeing the sunrise.

  9. #9

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    I was at Bearfence Hut June 17, 2006 - one item to note was that the spring is getting very slow - there was still water in a small pool but it tasted a bit "swampy" after filtering. If NOBO into the hut I would recommend getting the water from Lewis Mtn. picnic area (est 0.5 before the hut) and don't rely on the spring. If SOBO I am not sure what to suggest since in that direction relible water is several miles away almost to Big Meadows area.

  10. #10
    CitronellaMan CitronellaMan's Avatar
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    Was there a few springs ago. Rained overnight and the mice were out in abundance (then again, how many shelters don't have mice?). Nice camping area if it's not raining, seeing as water collects in the pit where the shelter is. Real steep climb to the trail from the shelter, but it's navigable.

  11. #11
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    Stayed there the night of 10/6/09. Spring had a poor slow and a small pool to dip. Common complaint was that the water tasted funky. NOBO's should camel up at Lewis Mtn. campground and tote it downhill for the short trip to the shelter. If SOBO, consider carrying an extra liter than your usual amount from Big Meadows Wayside to the shelter. I personally did this with no regrets. This SOBO section is not difficult for the majority of this approximate seven mile trek.

    The condition of the shelter was acceptable for me and the five other occupants including SOBO thru hiker Three Streams. No problem with mice. Plenty of firewood in the area especially up the fire road. Entertaining night at the campfire that lasted until 11:30.

    One caveat is that the shelter is short foot access from a parking lot. Recent occupants trashed the site badly leaving beer bottles, bagged food scrappings, etc. Thanks to our shelter mates for the night, Nick and Joe, the mess was cleaned before I arrived at the shelter. Thanks guys also for collecting the firewood and having an awesome campfire.

  12. #12

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    Was there 10/12 on last night of section hike. Spring ok, slow. As we were moving NoBo we got our water at Lewis Mtn campground, along with end-of-hike hot dogs and other treats. No mice issues. Heard lots of owls that night. Plenty of firewood.

    Met a SoBo thru hiker at High Top Hut the night before who said that his stay at Bearfence included a 3:00 a.m. visit to the privy. When he opened the door to return to the shelter, there was a bear outside. He went back into the privy and pounded on it to try to scare the bear away. We saw only deer while we were there.

  13. #13
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    How's the cell phone reception in Shenandoah--on the AT during the long stretch while you're winding along parallel to Skyline Drive? Seems like it would be good, but don't want to take that for granted.

  14. #14
    Registered User ATsawyer's Avatar
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    I've found cell reception better on the western overlooks and ridges than on the eastern side. Naked Creek, Crescent Rock, Hawksbill, Stonyman, Jewell Hollow all have good reception.

  15. #15
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    Stayed there last Fri. night. I hung at the lowest tent site because of tree placement ,the other 5 sites don't look hammock friendly. The shelter looks fine ,the privy may be full by the time the thru-hikers arrive en masse.The approach trail is very badly eroded as could be expected with all the heavy rain we have had.The spring is flowing very well.No bears seen

  16. #16
    Registered User Grampie's Avatar
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    Default Bearfence Shelter

    Check out my picture of a bear comming out of the privey. I took it in 2001.
    Grampie-N->2001

  17. #17
    Registered User sarman's Avatar
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    Heard reports this weekend that the shelter is closed due to a problem bear.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by sarman View Post
    Heard reports this weekend that the shelter is closed due to a problem bear.
    It is closed. As soon as I find out anymore current info, I'll be sure and pass it along.
    "Take another road to another place,disappear without a trace..." --Jimmy Buffet

  19. #19
    Registered User Lrg 50KR's Avatar
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    Actually, according to the signage, it is closed because of a "naughty" bear.

    The "problem" bears, and we encountered one such on Saturday, are located south of there at Wildcat Mountain Trail and Parking area, according to the sign we encountered after encountering the bear.

    I suggested to the ranger they probably need to move the sign. He also admitted that there probably was no technical difference between a naughty bear and a problem bear.

    -Tod

  20. #20

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    As of 11:46am yesterday (5/31/2011) Bearfence Hut is open to all normal activities.
    "Take another road to another place,disappear without a trace..." --Jimmy Buffet

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